Understanding human management of automation errors

Sara E. McBride, Wendy A. Rogers, Arthur D. Fisk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Automation has the potential to aid humans with a diverse set of tasks and support overall system performance. Automated systems are not always reliable, and when automation errs, humans must engage in error management, which is the process of detecting, understanding and correcting errors. However, this process of error management in the context of human–automation interaction is not well understood. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review of the variables that contribute to error management. We examined relevant research in human–automation interaction and human error to identify critical automation, person, task and emergent variables. We propose a framework for management of automation errors to incorporate and build upon previous models. Further, our analysis highlights variables that may be addressed through design and training to positively influence error management. Additional efforts to understand the error-management process will contribute to automation designed and implemented to support safe and effective system performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-577
Number of pages33
JournalTheoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 19 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Automation
  • Error
  • Error management
  • Human–automation interaction
  • Imperfect automation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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